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PODCAST: Film Focus Episode 53 – Avengers: Infinity War Spoiler Discussion

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, as some of you may have seen, in 2016 I started a film podcast entitled Film Focus and on this podcast, I talk about various topics in film and reviews as well on a biweekly basis. And the latest episode is a spoiler-heavy discussion on Avengers: Infinity War.

Anyway here’s the episode 53:

I’ve done already done my posted my original review, however, unlike most reviews I do there is a written and audio-based review. But I felt that because Infinity War would be a film I would be naturally excited about, I wanted to make my main review audio-related so that you all could understand my feelings towards the film in its purest form. And I also had so much fun recording with Drew that I felt like a written review would come across a bit redundant. However, that recording wasn’t the only episode recorded, as we also did a spoiler-based discussion talking about all of the major talking points from Thanos to the funniest scenes and character interactions to the character deaths and what the end of this film could mean for the MCU going forward.

Now I actually dropped this episode online last week, but because of timing issues I didn’t share it on my blog, plus I feel like a fortnight is plenty of time to wait before busting out the juicy spoilers haha. So yeah if you’re curious to hear the fun, interesting and fun thoughts on Infinity War from Drew and I then you’re in the right place. It was one of my favourite episodes of the podcast so far! 😀

As I mentioned before I’ll cover a different topic or review in each episode and since I don’t have much in the way of listeners or promotion, I’m here to spread the word about my podcast. 🙂

You can find my main site on Soundcloud here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

Or if you’re on iTunes subscribe and rate me on there: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/film-focus/id1114233892?mt=2

So if you have some spare time on your hands and would like to listen to the ramblings of a passionate/strange man then please check it out, and share it with your friends if they are fans of film discussion. Also, you have any feedback or if you’d be interested in joining in future episodes be sure to let me know, until next time, laters! 😀

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Posted by on May 11, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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Avengers: Infinity War Spoiler-Free Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the internet, how is it going? So yeah this review is up a little later than I had wanted but let’s just say I had a hella busy weekend, but putting that aside, I am finally here to share with you my thoughts on the latest Marvel Studios, Avengers: Infinity War! Now I did consider doing a written review, but I feel like my podcast would be able to better describe my feeling about the film in a more vivid and raw manner. So my review will be presented via my podcast Film Focus and features a returning guest, my homie Drew from Drew’s Movie Reviews.

Anyway here’s the episode 52:

Now I will admit this review was largely unscripted and since we were trying to avoid spoilers, there is a fair amount of vagueness to our comments, that being said we do cover a good deal of material in the story, character and presentation departments highlighting the highs and lows of the film, and generally just gushing about how much we liked the film haha. It is a good listen and I hope that you’ll enjoy the episode because I know Drew and I had a lot of fun making the episode. 😀

If you haven’t checked out my podcast before you can find it here: https://soundcloud.com/film_focus

So have you seen Infinity War and if so what did you think of it? Did it meet or exceed your expectations? OR were you disappointed? Drop your thoughts in the comments section below and I’ll see ya in the next review, until next time, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2018 in Film Reviews, Reviews

 

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QUICK THOUGHTS: Avengers: Infinity War Trailer

Howdy ladies and gents, how’s it going? So I just got home from work around 40 or so minutes ago and just remembered the new trailer for Avengers: Infinity War was released a few hours ago, so I just watched it and wanted to share my brief thoughts on it

Check out the trailer below:

So my initial impressions were this, “Oh my god, I’m in love!” I don’t think my words will be able to do the trailer justice and while I don’t want to watch it too many times, I’ve already seen it twice and I’ve got goosebumps! I want to avoid spoilers, but at the same time, I REALLY want to watch it like 10 more times! All throughout the trailer you feel the weight and significance of what’s happening, not only is this all the heroes coming together to face a threat larger than anything that’s come before, but it is the culmination of 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and you can see it with the Marvel logo sequence, the number of characters, locations and glowing items, but also audio-wise with Nick Fury’s speech from the Avengers being spoke by him and few other heroes, and of course they put in the Alan Silvestri Avengers theme song in there as the icing on the cake in both a darker and positive light too. That was just gorgeous for me as a massive fan of that theme song! And Thanos, wow, I REALLY pray that he’s the villain we’ve all been hoping for, not another Hela or Ultron who look cool from the trailers, but only end up being decent/average. So far he looks and talks like a badass, he looks pretty intimidating, his words feel menacing and he’s just messing people up left right and center including Spider-Man and Iron Man.

But what about what happens in the trailer? Well there’s so much to mention so here are my highlights:

  • There’s a massive battle in Wakanda with Black Panther, his army, plus the Avengers and some aliens? Sweet!
  • Vision and Scarlet Witch look close which means their relationship is finally happening on-screen! YAAAY!
  • Vision’s probably screwed as he’s shouting as someone’s trying to get that infinity stone out of his head.
  • Spider-Man’s new suit looks much better in motion than it did near the end of Homecoming.
  • Peter Parker’s arm hair stands up, spidey sense confirmed!
  • How badass does Steve Rogers look now?
  • I’m curious to see how Banner ended up with Doctor Strange and Wong, and how Tony Stark ends up there too.
  • The sense of scale in this film is immense with all the big ships, and the way the cinematography frames some of those battle sequences.
  • That last scene with Thor meeting the Guardians in their ship, love it.
  • The overall tone feels dark and dire and I love it, very Age of Ultron, I really hope Marvel commit to this tone in the film and give us some damn good drama!

In the end, I’m stupidly excited, I’m not gonna lie, I think my experience of watching the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron may still be my favourite of the Marvel Studios films so far, but this trailer, this trailer had so much going on and carried a lot of significance. It is a delicious trailer full of so many moments of hype, excitement, curiosity, mystery and seriousness. If this film is half as good as I hope it’ll be, then I will frigging blow up in May 2018, no joke! 😛

So have you seen the trailer for Avengers: Infinity War trailer and if so what did you think of it? Are you hyped, curious or underwhelmed? Let me know in comments section below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 29, 2017 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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EPIC REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War (Spoiler-Free!)

Howdy people of the internet, so after waiting two painstakingly long days to get back to my laptop I’m here to give you my review of Captain America: Civil War. I’ve seen the film twice in IMAX (once at the midnight screening and again on the same afternoon) and I’ve had a lot of thoughts in my head about this film, and a lot of it is spoiler-based, but I’m going to try my hardest to be as vague and spoiler-free as possible. Alrighty then, let’s begin. 🙂

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So the story can be described as the following:

“After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team.”

What should be clarified straight away is that Civil War is definitely Captain America 3 first and foremost, as the story furthers what we learnt in The Winter Soldier, but it also acknowledges the larger world of the MCU by introducing most of the main heroes so far, but also adding new characters and stories in this film. What I loved more so than anything else was that there was drama, real drama and it was material that was raw, emotional and effective. This is easily the most layered and emotional film in the MCU to date dealing with the themes of freedom, accountability, revenge and friendship being handled in a realistic and captivating manner. Not only do get to see Captain America try his best to keep his best friend safe, and butt heads with Iron Man with their different ideologies, but also see our heroes weigh out the pros and cons of their actions, pick sides based on their beliefs and clash. It was not only interesting, it was also complicated morally and ethically too. You’re given both sides of the argument and luckily both sides are effective at what they’re trying to convey, you’ll probably be conflicted during and after the film ends as well. If I have any issues with the story it was probably just a few changes in some of the character motivations which would have elevated the film a little more, but I have to hand it to the writers and the Russo brothers for juggling so much material and making it work in a coherent and stylish manner.

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With the cast they were all brilliant, and while some stood out more than others, everyone has a reason to be in the film and have their moments to shine and some of the best moments in the film are just with characters talking and interacting. Firstly there’s Chris Evans who was brilliant as Steve Rogers/Captain America, he’s a faced with difficult choices, and yet found a way to be just as heroic, charismatic and true to his beliefs while also being a leader and friend to his allies. Robert Downey Jr. killed it as Tony Stark/Iron Man, just when I thought I’d seen everything from this character, we find out there’s still more to learn. In this film Stark was very still very humours, but also passionate, vulnerable and driven and while he seemed like the bad guy, at the same time you understood his viewpoint. Scarlett Johansson  was wonderful as Black Widow, it was cool to see her character more in line with The Winter Soldier version where she was intelligent,logical and showed off her skill set on and off of the battlefield. Sebastian Stan also did well as Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier continuing to be an interesting and tragic character with good ties to Steve Rogers, and speaking of ties to Steve, Anthony Mackie also did a great job as The Falcon, their bond continued to grow and get tested with the appearance of Bucky and I liked how funny Falcon continues to be.

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Oh and Black Panther, dear god, he was brilliant! Chadwick Boseman was everything I wanted him to be and everything, as T’Challa/Black Panther he was intelligent, driven, honourable, tenacious and when he threw down, damn! He was insanely athletic, flexible and animal-like and I adored his treatment in this film. Paul Bettany and Elizabeth Olsen as The Vision and Scarlet Witch were brilliant, I love how they had developed a grew since Age of Ultron, but found new hurdles and personal issues to fight through, Vision continued to have a lot of funny and thought-provoking dialogue, while Scarlet Witch had a good few light-hearted and dramatic moments that developed her character in great ways. Jeremy Renner looked like was having a great time as Hawkeye and I really enjoyed his scenes, the same could also be said for Paul Rudd and Don Cheadle as Ant-Man and War Machine, both of them bring back what you loved about their characters and have great moments in the film.

William Hurt’s performance as Thunderbolt Ross was also great, he’s changed a great deal since The Incredible Hulk, but I really enjoyed his role as the government official attempting to keep the Avengers in check. It was great to see more of Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter as she had more to do and had a good few memorable moments in the film, and Martin Freeman as Everett K. Ross was delightful and tough and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last from him, and the return of Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones while brief was really cool. Daniel Brühl as Baron Helmut Zemo was interesting, while he’s not utilized in a conventional way and won’t please fans of the comics, I thought his role was very smart, though I believe the film would have worked without him. And finally Tom Holland as Spider-Man, holy crap! Marvel Studios nailed it! If you’re like me you’ve seen Spidey done five times and he’s been done well in certain areas but not completely comic book accurate. But here he’s the most accurate Spider-Man the to date with right balance of action and humour. He’s introduced in a logical and natural way, and seeing Holland as Peter Parker inside and out of the suit was delightful as he felt so fresh different to the actors who’ve come before him.

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When it comes to the presentation it was pretty solid. Visually the film is very nice, the cinematography is great with some wonderfully shot action sequences, good editing and wonderful CGI. The fight scenes are some of the best in the MCU so far with really creative, acrobatic and versatile action for everyone involved whether they be superpowered or not, and there’s the much-talked about epic fight sequence in the airport which for me was one of the most beautiful fanboy moments I’ve ever seen. It was like a comic book come to life in the best way possible. However I will say for everything I liked, I will say that the shaky cam in some of the fight scenes was a little chaotic, and the visual effects in certain parts of the film felt a little lacking in detail and didn’t mesh as well with the live-action footage, but those are nitpicks for sure. As for the film score, Henry Jackman returns to compose and his score definitely feels in line with Winter Soldier, but was also a little more dramatic and heroic than before. However this score while it works within the film, it didn’t have any standout tracks or a theme that I can remember like some of Marvel’s previous films.

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In conclusion Captain America: Civil War was a lot of fun and solid follow-up to Winter Soldier. While it won’t change the game for the superhero genre, it did dive a little deeper into those thought-provoking and emotional territories that the MCU hadn’t fully embraced beforehand, and with some awesome action, an intriguing story and well-developed characters, this is an adventure that people won’t want to miss out on especially if you’re fans of these films and comics.

Rating: 8.5/10

So are you going to see Captain America: Civil War and if you’ve seen it what did you think of it? Please sound off your thoughts in the comments below ane I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2016 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Captain America: Civil War Trailer #2 Review

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, time for another trailer review and today I’m finally getting around to talking about the second trailer for Captain America: Civil War. Now I loved the first trailer and was hyped to see the new one a few days ago, but trust that when it came out I was at work and had to wait until around 11pm which was horrible. I would have reviewed this trailer much sooner but again work has kept me at bay for the last few days, but now I’m finally free to talk about this trailer and wouldn’t you know, it’s pretty damn awesome! 😀

Check out the trailer below:

So first impressions after seeing the trailer, “Forget today, forget tomorrow, maybe even forget my birthday. Get me to the release date of Civil War because I need this film in my system now!”

Just like the last trailer what I love about the footage we get here is that this film at the center of all the action and chaos really feels like a personal story which is focused on the characters. Once again we have Steven Rogers and Tony Stark on opposing sides and the trailer further illustrates their points of view and why each of them is right or wrong depending who you side with. And just like before this trailer includes that tone, where things are serious, it feels like there are pretty big stakes as not only the heroes with be beating the crap out of each other, but with the attack on the United Nations, the return of Thunderbolt Ross and Black Panther’s involvement, it seems like there will a great deal of ramifications felt all over the place.

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A lot happened in this trailer so I’ll just highlight a few things:

  • Highlighting the events of the past: Having Thunderbolt Ross show some of the heroes the destruction that laid in their wake after New York, Washington DC and Sokovia was really great as it showed just how much damage they’d unknowingly caused and was also a way to communicate to the audience that even in the MCU for the victories there were sacrifices and the heroes have to be made accountable, seeing Scarlet Witch’s reaction to Sokovia and having Steve telling Ross to stop showing the video was a beautiful moment.
  • MORE BLACK PANTHER: Jesus, I fucking love this character and I haven’t even heard him speak or do anything besides run, jump, slice Bucky’s motorcycle, have a quick fight with Bucky and get shot at with bullets from a helicopter, but that doesn’t matter, what does matter is that the Panther is a frigging badass and I just can’t wait to see how Chadwick Boseman kills it in this role. The Panther has an elegance and ferocity to him that just makes him look so dangerous and cool and I seriously want to see him kick some ass around about now.
  • Ant-Man on the move: This was a fairly brief moment but when Hawkeye shot the arrow and Ant-Man rode it and then leapt jumped onto Iron Man’s armour that was just frigging kick ass. More Ant-Man love is welcome.
  • Scarlet Witch overpowers Vision?: This was another blink and you’ll miss it moment, but seeing Scarlet Witch use her powers to bring Vision to his knees was very interesting and pretty much gave us a confirmation that the almighty Vision does have competition in the powers department.
  • Cool lines of dialogue!: “You just started a war!”, “This job, we try to safe as many people as we can. Sometimes that doesn’t me everybody. But you don’t give up.”, “I’m not the one who needs to watch their back.”, “I was wrong about you, the whole world was wrong about you.” and “I could do this do this all day.” (great callback to The First Avenger) I can see myself quoting this film for a while in the future.

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But let’s talk about that Spidey reveal. I actually had it ruined for me while I was scanning ComicBookMovie.com and it was used in a few thumbnails and I was like “That’s not the new Spidey suit is it?” But sure enough, I watched the trailer, saw Tony shout “Underoos!” And bam, my boy just webs Cap’s hands together, steals his shield and drops in like a badass sporting a slightly modified version of the classic suit with moving eye lenses! Now I have to say I wasn’t too keen on his look at first mainly because it looked so CG heavy and felt like it didn’t look very realistic, though now that I’ve seen the trailer a few more times I’ve definitely warmed to the suit and in the images released there’s actually been so notable levels of detail seen in the suit that weren’t visible in the trailer probably because of the YouTube video compression.

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I really like the suit, it’s classic, but updated with a few stripes on the arms and legs, but it’s those eyes that got me immediately. At first I thought this film was pulling a Deadpool and decided to animate them just because that’s how they were in the comics, but when you listen, you could actually hear a mechanical sound at the lenses got smaller which made me certain that this suit would be part mechanical and possibly made by Tony Stark because Spidey couldn’t make something like this on his own given his age and current freshness in the MCU. Either way I’m down with this new version of Spidey, I just hope the suit looks more realistic in the film.

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In conclusion the second trailer for Captain America: Civil War has just amplified my excitement so much. All this glorious footage just makes me giddy for not only this film, but the future of the MCU going forward with the storylines and characters who make it out of this thing alive. This film looks so good I can’t imagine it failing, I mean it has to be great right? However I am reminded constantly in the back of my mind about Age of Ultron and how my hype technically ruined that film so I’m being cautious, but damn it’s hard not to be insanely hyped with all this good stuff Marvel’s doing at the moment.

So have you seen the second official trailer for Civil War and if so what did you think of it? Are you more or less excited than before? Please sound off your thoughts in the comments below ane I’ll see ya on the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2016 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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SUPER REVIEW: Captain America: Civil War Trailer #1

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another trailer review and today I’m gonna be talking about the first trailer for Captain America: Civil War. Now I was starting to wonder when this footage would drop because it’s getting close to Christmas and still nothing had been shown yet, but then out of nowhere I hope up late after midday and found out the trailer had been dropped by Jimmy Kimmel. WHAT!?! And there I am, gotta get online and see it. So now that I have is it good or bad? Well read on and find out!

Check out the trailer below:

So first impressions after seeing the trailer, “Nice, I’m liking this a lot.” The trailer didn’t blow me away but it had many significant details that made me think that this will certainly be one of the most important films in the MCU yet.

What was made immediately clear to me was that this was a Captain America film first and foremost, it had certain plot elements, themes and tonal consistencies with The Winter Soldier which was great. We’ve heard in the news about the film’s large cast and talk of this being “Avengers 2.5“, but so far this looks like Captain America 3, but with elements of Avengers-styled stuff incorporated. And that’s how it should it be. Winter Soldier was great because it had its own story to tell with awesome themes and genre changes added to the superhero formula and that’s one of the main aspects that made that film work so well, and I can only hope that the Russo brothers are able to bring back the awesomeness to the MCU. My only concern is that this film won’t be consistent in tone and may insert too much humour, that happened with Age of Ultron back in the summer, I just pray that the jokes and light-hearted material will be appropriately placed and won’t overshadow the key themes.

There’s a lot going on in this trailer so I’ll just highlight them below:

  • Cap and Bucky forever: Looks like Bucky’s public enemy number one now and Cap’s trying to help/rehabilitate/protect Bucky from not only the government but also Tony Stark and possibly some of his other allies. It really helps solidify their bond as friends and shows that these personal connections amongst the heroes will be an important factor when it comes to the superhero lifestyle.
  • William Hurt’s back as Thunderbolt Ross: Seeing this character back again made me smile, seems like he’s risen in importance since 2008 in The Incredible Hulk as he’s talking to Cap about him being seen as a vigilante, operating with power in the world without supervision and talk of consequences. It seems he’s one of the key faces in this version of the superhero registration act from the comics.
  • BLACK PANTHER: I honestly didn’t notice this guy the first time I watched the trailer, it wasn’t until I saw a trailer review that I noticed him and saw how cool he looked. The mask/helmet looks awesome, not sure about rest of the costume, but Panther’s brief appearance is notable as we see him throw down with Bucky and go running in a chase scene. So clearly this guy is very active in this film so I can’t wait to see how he factors into this film with the story.
  • This story is intimate: For all the explosions and chaos, this is really a battle between two friends who have different ideals and end up on opposite sides. The scale and scope of these events are as big as the comic story, but for this film its fine considering the circumstances, plus with certain characters picking sides already things will get complicated.

But there are two things that stick out to me:

  1. Cap and Tony “used” to be friends: Watching this trailer and hearing from Cap “Sorry Tony, you know I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t have any other choice. But he’s my friend.” And Tony’s reply, “So was I.” Damn, that genuinely touched me. That’s not a throwaway line. You could tell there’s sincerity behind those words. These two have been at odds occasionally for 3 years now (4 come next year), but at the end of the day they’re still comrades, so it really feels like this is something that neither of them want to do.
  2. Cap and Bucky owning Iron Man: That final shot of Cap and Bucky basically beating Iron Man into submission was beastly. The way its framed and had not quick edits, just a wide shot of Iron Man struggling to fight back against these two titans, it’s an image not easily forgotten and it’s pretty badass too.

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In conclusion this trailer for Captain America: Civil War gives me hope for this third entry in the adventures of Steve Rogers. It felt serious, personal and seems like there will be serious ramifications after the events of this film are over. I am hyped, that being said, Avengers 2 proved that marketing can trick you into seeing a film a certain way and then ending up with a different product, so I’m keeping my anticipation in check until I see the film next May (or April if it comes out early in the UK again). If this film is anywhere near as consistent as Winter Soldier then I’ll be over the moon.

So have you seen the trailer for Civil War and if so what did you think of it? Does it hamper or increase your excitement for this film? Please sound off your thoughts in the comments below ane I’ll see ya on the next post, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2015 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Martian Review (SPOILER FREE)

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for another film review and today I’ll be talking about The Martian. This is another film that’s been on my 2015 anticipated list, even when there was no footage, I had hope for the film considering that it had an interesting premise, Ridley Scott was directing and it featured Matt Damon. And after the trailers and early positive word of mouth I was excited to see this. So after seeing an early screening at Cineworld yesterday I’m ready to pass judgement!

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The story can be described as the following:

“When a mission to Mars goes wrong for a group of team of astronauts, they escape, however one of their members, Mark Watney is left behind and presumed dead. With limited resources and a harsh environment to live in, Watney must fight for survival while communicating with NASA, other scientists and his crewmates on a rescue plan.”

I thought the story was really good. This is another film that focuses on survival, human ingenuity, endurance and spirit. I like how there was moral, ethical and logical dilemma’s for not only Mark, but his crewmates and the people at NASA as well, there wasn’t an easy way of doing things and for a lot of the choices that some of these characters made, there’d be sacrifices or negative consequences involved. I also appreciated the realism, the scientific talk and unpredictable nature of space, the Mars environment and spacecraft equipment. The film was also a lot funnier than I expected and I think it really helped ease the loneliness and dread. While this isn’t a brilliant or unique adventure, it is a solid and well-made film from director Ridley Scott, there is a sense of confidence and intelligence with Scott’s direction and I liked that aspect a lot.

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The cast did such great work with their performances, but the main star is Matt Damon as Mark Watney. This is a character who is smart and courageous, but also has to deal with the fact that death is constantly present and could take him at any moment. Damon is a really great actor and I think a lot of people forget that, but here is allowed to be dramatic, charming, funny, frustrated and so much more, and a lot of the time he has to act alone, yet pretend like there is someone is watching and he pulls that off fairly well.

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As for the people down on Earth I really liked Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders, he was an interesting character because he is a good person, but he also has to think of things from a business perspective and his decisions puts him at odds with his other staff members. Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose did pretty well and I think I think I liked her performance a lot mainly because it was the first time I’ve seen her in a serious role. Chiwetel Ejiofor as usual turns in a great performance Vincent Kapoor and Sean Bean was good as Mitch Henderson too.  Mackenzie Davis was cute and good in her role as Mindy Park, Benedict Wong was quite good as Bruce Ng and Donald Glover’s appearance as Rich Purnell was strange, humourous and entertaining for sure. As for the space-based characters, Jessica Chastain did well with her material as Melissa Lewis, she’s the most developed and important of the crew and has a lot of important decisions to make too. Michael Peña as Rick Martinez was also good, he had some humourous moments and good banter with Mark. Kate Mara was also good as Beth Johanssen, I also liked my man Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck and Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel was good but a little forgettable. Together these characters had good chemistry and felt like a good team of individuals who cared about their mission but also for each other and Mark.

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When it comes to the presentation it was really good. Visually this was a great experience. Spaced-based sci-fi films have been getting better with their special effects over the last few years with Prometheus, Guardians of the Galaxy and Gravity showing more and more impressive their art direction, realism and level of detail, and this film is no different. The Martian has wonderful cinematography, editing and sound design too. I was just stunned by the scenery of Mars, all the shots on the planet were gorgeous and the scenes in space were also very beautiful with great lighting and clarity. The film score by Harry Gregson-Williams was also quite good, William’s soundtracks tend to be a little hit and miss for me, but here he did a good job creating music that really amplified the action on-screen and it had many great moments elevating the emotional scenes.

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In conclusion The Martian is a return to form for Ridley Scott, offering up a thrilling and dramatic story, great performances and brilliant production value. While I wouldn’t say it blew me away, it is definitely on the higher end of films I’ve seen post-summer season and in 2015 in general.

Rating: 8/10

So what did you think of The Martian? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them below and let me know. Until the next time, see ya later! 😀

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review

Good day to all who may be reading this blow, today is an important day I’m finally able to review Captain America: The Winter Soldier! I have waited for AGES for this film and avoiding spoilers has been a frigging mission for me. But after all the waiting I finally saw it yesterday and I’m ready to share my thoughts. So how did the film fare? Read on and find out!

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Set after the events of The Avengers, Steve Rogers/Captain America is trying to adjust to the modern world and while working for S.H.I.E.L.D. he starts to realize that there is a lot of secrets and complications hat come with working for an organization that has so many secrets. Soon a  new enemy emerges known as the Winter Soldier and it require not only Cap, but the help of Black Widow and newcomer Falcon to join in and help.

I thought the story was great, it was action-packed, dramatic, dense, thrilling and complex. There is so much to love in the film like:

  • Steve Rogers trying to adjust to the modern world
  • The secrets and deceit of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • The introduction of the Winter Soldier
  • Getting to know more about Black Widow
  • How this film not only links to the past of Captain America but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general

One of the great things about the film is that it doesn’t feel like a typical superhero flick, it feels like a mix between a thriller and a your usual comic book material. If you know of films in the political and spy thriller genres then you’ll totally see elements borrowed from that here and it is used to great effect. The story emphasizes the themes of trust and the price of freedom, plus since this film is all about secrets and lies nothing is black and white, just loads of grey. The Russo brothers do a great job with this film’s direction, it seems like they have a good idea of what Captain America is, how to handle him in film and change things up while giving the fans what they want.

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Oh and by the way, there are things in this film that basically change the whole of the Marvel Cinematic Universe forever. I can’t say what they are, but when you see this film, you’ll be looking at everything in a totally different light and will be trying to wrap your head around things for ages after the film ends.

When it comes to the cast they are all really good and there really isn’t any weak links. So let’s start with Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, honestly Cap has gone from being one of the most bland superheroes to being one of the coolest. Evans embodies the character so well now as he feels cool, serious, yet vulnerable and emotionally versatile, the guy really gets to spread his wings and shows off why he’s a badass seeing more of his strength and combat skills in a way unseen before now. Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow is also very good in the film, we get to learn more about her, see more layers get stripped away and see more of her personality too. Johansson really does well as this character and I would love to see her continue in this role for a while longer. In addition to that Johansson and Evans have such a great screen chemistry as Cap and Widow whether it humour-based or action related.

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And then there’s Sebastian Stan as Winter Soldier, oh how I loved him. This villain here is cold, merciless, scary and relentless, he’s like the frigging Terminator and had an intimidating and screen-dominating presence. And Stan just does such a great job as the character, he’s stepped into this role so well and I he’s just awesome. Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon is an awesome new addition to the MCU. Wilson is cool, funny and capable action man, he’s not just thrown into the film, he is key to the plot and has some cool key scenes. Robert Redford as Alexander Pierce is simply amazing. I knew that he’d be awesome after I watched All Is Lost, but here is great because his character has a lot to do with S.H.I.E.L.D. and the main plot and he was really awesome. And then there’s Samuel L. Jackson who is still killing it as Nick Fury. In this film we get to see more of Fury emotionally and see how he fits into the world of lies and deceit that S.H.I.E.L.D. have created. Jackson is still cool and badass as hell and he has such a good handle on the character that it would be hard to see another person do the ultimate version of the character.

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And the there’s all the other people that show up in the film and even if they’re only around for a little while, they still have relevance. Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill was cool, Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow was intense and smooth and Emily VanCamp as Agent 13 did a good job in her role too. By the way there is a cameo of a character that is from a certain TV show, I won’t say who it is but when you see him you’ll know and for me it was a great moment.

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As for the presentation MY GOD it is GORGEOUS! Honestly this might be the best presentation of the Marvel Studios films just behind Avengers. The action sequences and scenes are done with such precision, scope and style that you’ll be hard-pressed to fight something you didn’t like. There are fights in the sky and on the ground and it is a mixture of hand-to-hand combat, gunfights, car chases and so much more. The best part for me what the fight scenes, they were some of the sexiest fight choreography I have seen in years, i was tight, well-down, hard-hitting and SO cool to watch. Also the CGI in this film is very clean and works well to give us some of these larger-than-life set pieces. The soundtrack by Henry Jackman is also very good and in my opinion is better one then Alan Silvestri’s score for The First Avenger. While this film doesn’t have any stand-out themes, the music just amps up the action, drama and tension and it just felt so good in addition to what was going happening on-screen. And seeing this come together on a massive IMAX screen just made it SO much better. 😀

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In conclusion Captain America: The Winter Soldier just night be the best Marvel film yet! The direction, story, characters and action is simply incredible and this film really does change the game for future comic book films. Forget Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, this is the best Phase Two film and possibly the best film from Marvel Studios. 2014 films have finally gotten awesome and The Winter Soldier sets the bar really high for future films. Do yourself a favor and check this film out, it is mint.

Rating: 9/10 (Another win for Marvel with a kick ass action-based thriller)

So what did you think of Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Have you seen it or are you gonna see it? And how do you think it stacks up against the previous Marvel Studios films? Whatever your thoughts are drop in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next film review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier Trailer #1 Review

Hello ladies and gentlemen of the world, its trailer review time here on this blog and after a long wait we finally have our first look at Captain America: The Winter Soldier in the first trailer which was released just a little while ago. Now there’s been a lot of talk about this film especially after Comic-Con and a lot of it has been pretty promising and positive from those who have seen the footage shown back in July. But now we the public get to see what this film looks like, so does it look good or bad? Read on and find out!

But firstly check out the trailer below:

My first impressions form that trailer is “cool.” Yeah, this trailer looks pretty damn cool. While it wasn’t the ‘I was blown away, shit my pants, tell everybody in the world’ kind of trailer, it definitely has a lot of eyebrow-raising moments and set-pieces that have yet to grace the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far.

The trailer seems to have a very serious and thriller-esque tone to it and I’m loving that. Having said that though there is a bit of humour shown in the beginning between Black Widow and Cap and that shows that the funny side of things hasn’t been completely abandoned. It seems like the world has changed a great deal since the events of The Avengers and security is stepping, help is being recruited, Cap, Black Widow and S.H.I.E.L.D. are more active and there seems to be more enemies crawling out of the woodwork.

Character-wise Steve Rogers is looking as badass and true to his character as ever and I’m liking the different costumes especially his new darker one. Robert Redford’s character seems to be like Nick Fury’s either superior or part of some other division of SHIELD and I like him, Black Widow still seems to be kicking ass and asking interesting questions and Nick Fury is still Nick Fury and I have now problems with that. The only person we didn’t see the much of was Anthony Mackie’s Falcon, but I guess they’re saving him for later.

I’m liking the dialogue for the film too, it sound very thought-provoking and interesting. Robert Redford’s character has some of my favourite lines like “Captain, to build a better world, sometimes means tear the old one down” or “Are you ready for the world to see you how you really are?

Looks like a lot of people and a lot stuff is gonna get messed up as the action scenes and sequences in this film seem to go from very intricate to large-scale chaos. There’s a lot to love like the scene with Winter Soldier shooting that thing under the car that Nick Fury is in looked crazy, there are loads of other explosions, Cap taking out all those dudes in the elevator to some nice hand to hand combat between Cap and WW. But the coolest moment, the COOLEST MOMENT is when you see what looks like the FRIGGING HELICARRIER CRASHING AND EXPLODING INTO THE GROUND! BADASS STUFF GOING ON HERE YO!

Now I love thrillers, especially action ones and they can be done correctly but they can also end up being very average. At this point in time I can’t tell how much of a thriller this’ll be and how it will coincide with the more superhero-based elements of the film. I just hope the Russo brothers and the writers have found that right kind of balance so that it feels like a comic book film, but feels fleshed-out and realistic.

Oh and one more thing, I said I’m excited for this film and I genuinely am, however I remember being excited for a little film by the name of Captain America: The First Avenger and look how that turned out. So with that in mind I am turning down my hype levels just a bit in case I do get a disappointing end result, I just hope this film is a stronger one.

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In conclusion this trailer makes me excited for the next Captain America film and I feel hopeful that this one will rectify the problems of the last film too. The action looks solid, the cast members new and old seem like they have their hearts in the right place and it seems like there will be enough content here to stand alone from under the shadow of The Avengers. So will the film succeed? I hope so, I guess time will tell when the first comes out next year.

So what do you lot think of the trailer, sound off your thoughts in the comments below.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Month of Superhero Film Reviews: Captain America: The First Avenger

Howdy ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Day #11 of my Month of Superhero Film Reviews! During this month I’ll be reviewing of some of the best and worst comic book adapted films. Now we’re gonna change things up a bit with a fairly recent superhero film in the form of Captain America: The First Avenger.

Wow, didn’t expect to be talking about this film so soon but I thought why not? It’s my blog! Anyway, Captain America: The First Avenger is one of those films I have seen only 2 or 3 times, I’m always curious to watch it again but then get reminded of how much disappointment I’ll face so I avoid it. So now I’ve checked it out again its time to pass judgement yet again!

In terms of the plot the film tells the story of Steve Rogers, a sickly man from Brooklyn who is transformed into super-soldier Captain America to aid in the war effort. Rogers must stop the Red Skull – Adolf Hitler’s ruthless head of weaponry and the leader of an organization that intends to use an artifact called the “Tesseract” as an energy-source for world domination.

The story is unique, interesting and good for the most part, though the execution is a bit off. For the first half its pretty much about us getting to know Steve Rogers, who he is, how he’s selected for the super soldier programme and how he’s transformed into the hero that he becomes. The next half is about Rogers’ effort to take out the Red Skull. The first half of the film is nice and there’s a good amount of character development, though it is a little long-winded and then when the pace picks up in the second half there’s not really as much detailed material as there was in the first half. And speaking the action none it is really all that good because it’s over too quickly or worse it happens in BLOODY MONTAGES! Caps donning of his costume, his action scenes, the work together with the hollowing commandos, all of that happens in montage which means none it can be fully appreciated or taken in. Actually that actually applies to a lot of aspects in this film, a lot of stuff happens and the film doesn’t take enough time for things to be processed, so then when other major stuff happens that ties into things that’s happened before you don’t really care about it because it wasn’t there long enough to matter.

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Now let’s talk about the cast. Firstly Chris Evans as does well as Steve Rogers/Captain America, he embodies all the right traits of the character and it is a massive turn around after seeing him as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four films. Evans was cool, assertive and was truthful as the character and he has nice screen presence. Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter was great. Besides being totally beautiful and being arguably the hottest out of the love interests in Marvel’s Phase One films, Atwell was nice, kind and knew how to kick ass as Peggy, you could see why Cap would fall for her.

Then there’s Hugo Weaving as Johann Schmidt/Red Skull. I thought before this film came out that this was the perfect casting for this role, Weaving is awesome at playing villains and this was one of the best from the comics. It should have been perfect. The problem is that his interpretation of the character is so dull and one-dimensional. I mean a lot of villains are but Red Skull from the comics is this brilliant supervillian with a smart mind and very evil personality, Weaving’s version of the character was just your common “I want to rule the world with power” kind of guy with no charisma or unique charms and that hurt me.

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Sebastian Stan as Sergeant James “Bucky” Barnes was alright but not nearly as good as I was hoping for. Obviously they heavily changed and updated his character for this film, and Stan does what he can with his material but it isn’t enough for me to care about him. The problem is that Steve and Bucky’s relationship doesn’t feel that strong and there’s only a few points where their long friendship seemed real. Then there’s Tommy Lee Jones as Colonel Chester Phillips, he was amazing. I didn’t expect his role to be so big in the film but every time Jones was on-screen he had such great dialogue that made me laugh and kept me smiling throughout. Also Dominic Cooper as Howard Stark was very good as the younger version of the father of Tony Stark. Cooper’s version of Howard was very reminiscent of Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in terms of his love of the ladies, level of intellect and his love of the ladies. And lastly there’s Stanley Tucci as Dr. Abraham Erskine, the scientist who created the Super Soldier Serum. Tucci was sweet, funny and wonderful in his role, my only issue was that he wasn’t on-screen longer.

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Now let’s talk about the presentation. Visually the film is nice, the way the film creates its old-school 1940’s looks is nice if somewhat questionable at times, also the CGI used in the film for the advanced weaponry and moments when Steve Rogers or Cap is doing something superhuman is decent but is never consistently realistic. But let’s talk about the special effects used to make Chris Evans look skinny, I know that character’s meant to look feeble but that was super extreme Chris’ head looked absurd on that little body double. The action is also nice when it’s on but the problem is none of it is there long enough to appreciate because a lot of it is in FRIGGING MONTAGE! As for the soundtrack by Alan Silvestri it is nice and has a heroic sound to it when the action’s going down but other than that it’s just there and isn’t overly memorable.

And lastly how does it compare to the comics? Well for the most part the film follows the source material with Steve Rogers’ history, how he became Captain America, the stuff with Dr. Erskine and the Red Skull. But there were a lot of changes like Bucky being an adult rather than a teenager and the nature of some of the character deaths was changed a lot too.

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So to conclude.Captain America: The First Avenger is a decent effort and has a good cast to help carry the story along. The problem is that it is something special or amazing, it doesn’t have that wow factor about it. It isn’t a terrible film but any means but because of the source material I know that this film could have been so much more and that’s why it is more disappointing that it is good.

Rating: 7/10 (It’s good but it could have been SO much better)

So there’s my review people, only 19 more to go. So have you seen Captain America: The First Avenger and if so what are your thoughts on it? Drop me a comment and let me know your thoughts yo! Come back tomorrow and I’ll have a new film review online, until then peace out!

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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